Of Pain and Pig (Or How to Make Wilted Kale with Bacon, Onions, and Apple)

My chiropractor has my number. He seriously calls me out on all of my bullshit, which I must admit I sort of appreciate even though it annoys me a little. When I go for an appointment, he realigns my spine and points out some absurdity in my life that I’m attempting to gloss over.

For example… he once overheard a conversation I was having with his receptionist about my health insurance coverage for emergency room visits and said, “The only way this one is going to the hospital is if she has a baby coming out of her.”

Gross, Dr. Greg. Graphic and gross… but probably totally true.

See, I have a tendency to bulldoze my way through things, deliberately blind to the damage if it’s inconvenient to acknowledge in the moment. This has been somewhat helpful in my career but perhaps less so in my personal life.

As a producer, I often operate on the premise that it is better to apologize than to ask for permission. When time is of the essence, you can’t wait around for fearful people to hem and haw. You just have to get the shot. When money is on the line and politics have to be considered, this can be a risky mode of operation, so it’s a delicate balance.

Also…

For better or for worse, I have a high pain threshold and this can mean not taking very good care of myself if there’s something “more important” to tend to like some actress’ meltdown or a cut that has to go out by 2 am.

Since I’m not actively producing anything right now, I’m taking a little more time to notice when I need something, and many people have played a role in this, my chiropractor included.

So, anyway, this is all to say it was rather huge for me to realize (without anyone else’s help) that I needed to go to the doctor for my sore throat yesterday.

I’d had enough of the sensation of swallowing broken glass and capitulated to the pain. The doctor thought my disease warranted a Z-pack, so I guess it’s good I went to see him.

As I live in a rather colorful area of Hollywood, the clientele in his office was, shall we say…. interesting?

There was a woman (I think?) in a nearby room who was letting out these horrid, high-pitched, reptilian-like screams every few minutes while I waited to see the doctor.

When I was finally leaving the office, prescription in hand, she screamed again. The three nurses stationed in the hallway all looked at me as if to say, “Don’t look at me. I’m not going in there.”

“It sounds like you have a velociraptor caged in there,” I said. They looked at me rather blankly, not getting the reference.

“It’s like Jurassic Park up in here,” I clarified.

And as if on cue, the human dinosaur screamed its reptilian scream again.

They all started laughing, and as I walked away, I heard them slapping their legs and repeating, “Jurassic Park,” through hyena-like cackles.

My work there was done.

And now my work here is done, so I will leave you with a recipe for wilted kale with bacon, onion, and apples.

Why?

Because bacon and Reeses Pieces Easter eggs are the only things I can taste right now… and at least one of those things has some redeeming nutritious value.

Fruit, Veggies, and Pig!

Fruit, Veggies, Vitamins… and Pig!

Kale with Bacon, Onion, and Apples

4 Slices of Bacon
1/2 Small Onion, Sliced
1 Large Apple, Gala or Pink Lady, Sliced
6 C Kale, Chopped
2 T Apple Cider Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook bacon in a skillet. Remove bacon and set aside. Remove all but 2 T of bacon grease from the skillet. Add the chopped onion to bacon grease. Cook until soft, about 6-8 minutes.

Add the kale and allow to wilt, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Transfer to a bowl before adding the 2 T of apple cider vinegar. (The residual heat from the skillet will evaporate the vinegar otherwise.)

Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Add crumbled bacon and apple slices…

And Devour like a velociraptor.

All Roads Lead to Bacon (Or Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Onions)

You know that scene in Dirty Dancing when Dr. Houseman tells Johnny he knows he’s not the one who got Penny pregnant?

He’s all, “When I’m wrong, I say I’m wrong.”

(The moment is at 4:28, in case you’re interested — or in case you just wanna watch pretty people dirty dance.)

ANYWAY, when I’M wrong, I say I’m wrong too.

So, here’s one of the ways I’ve been wrong lately: I think I may have been too hard on the Spicy Calabrian Pork Ribs.

They’ve been sitting in my fridge since I made them on Monday and I’ve been snacking on them all week. I’m liking them more now than I did initially. I think maybe the marinade needs to be made a few days in advance so the flavors have time to marry. I might try this experiment another time. (If I do, I’ll totally get back to you.)

The other experiment I want to try?

Involves the maple chile glaze from this pork chop recipe. I think I want to put THAT on pork ribs as well. This brings me to another thought….

It’s possible my pig obsession is getting out of control.

I keep telling myself at least it’s not as bad as this guy’s:

I mean I haven't declared my love on my car yet….

I mean I haven’t declared my love on my car yet….

But I probably would wear one of these to work out.

If you're as nuts as I am about bacon, you can buy these shirts here.

If you suffer from the same affliction, you can buy these shirts here.

An intervention may be necessary.

Even if things ARE a little out of control, I’m not ready to stop the obsession yet, so let’s just keep oinking, K?

Yesterday I promised you the recipe for Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Onions, so here it is.

Spence the Spinosaurus is trying to control himself around this goodness.

They were a huge hit with Spence the Spinosaurus.

I had some bacon leftover after I made the dish, so I decided to candy it with spices and maple syrup. (Recipe here.) Then I cranked up the Kygo, and danced in my kitchen while I waited for my candied bacon to cook because that’s what lunatics people do.

Just try to listen to this track and not do a little dirty dancing of your own.

I dare you.

I double bacon candy dare you.

Friday is College Football Eve (Or Bacon and Blue Cheese Potato Salad Bliss)

It’s Friday! And back in my Academy Awards days that meant blasting that Rebecca Black song on repeat until all of the other site producers had no choice but to sing along with it. (I had NO shame about hazing them.) These days, though, Friday is most notable for being college football eve.

It’s the day when I’m filled with anticipation… and absolute dread about my alma mater’s impending match up.

See, I went to Michigan, and I was there when we won the National Champion in 1997. So that means I have HIGH expectations. Those high expectations lead to devastation when we lose… and a laundry list of criticisms even when we win. Our season started off promising with decisive wins over Central Michigan and Notre Dame… then the Akron atrocity happened.

Now I’m basically rocking back and forth in a corner trying to tell myself it’s okay that we’re THE WORST 5-0 team in college football.

Instead of going on a tirade about Devin Gardner’s interception to touchdown pass ratio, I’m going to go to my happy place instead.

My happy place involves bacon.

Lots and lots of bacon….

Before our season hit the skids, I went back to Ann Arbor for the final meeting of the Wolverines and the Fighting Irish in the Big House, and I made bacon and blue cheese potato salad for the tailgate festivities. Because #duh.

The tailgate was all kinds of fabulous.

See?

IMG_8631

Even our photographer was having fun. #blurry

We kicked it with our old crew — our old crew with National Championship rings.

Michigan Wolverines on Dogs Dishes and Decor

They took the field when we didn’t seriously suck.

I may have even stolen the baby belonging to one of those guys.

Baby at a tailgate on Dogs Dishes and Decor

Because honestly? Who could blame me? #lookathim!

Babies are awesome, but I had to give that one back because I’m not a felon.

I digress….

Back to bacon, which may be my only reason for living if we lose tomorrow.

Bacon and Blue Cheese Potato Salad from Dogs Dishes and Decor #bacon #football #tailgate

Behold the life saving goodness.

Basically all of our apps were wrapped in bacon because we’re beasts… and because Jesus died so I can eat pigs.

IMG_8617

This is how Victors eat. #baconforever

If you want to make the potato salad yourself, here’s my recipe.

Bacon and Blue Cheese Potato Salad
(Adapted from Bon Appetit)

1/4 C apple cider vinegar
2 tsp dijon mustard
2/3 C olive oil
1/4 C minced shallots
2 T fresh, minced parsley
4 lbs of small red potatoes (unpeeled)
4 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 C crumbled blue cheese
1/2 C whipping cream
12 slices of bacon
3 T fresh, minced chives
Cracked pepper, to taste
Mix vinegar, mustard, and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk in olive oil in a thin stream. Whisk in shallot and minced parsley.
Steam or boil potatoes until just tender. Cool slightly. Cut potatoes into 1/4″ slices. Place potatoes in a large bowl. Gently mix a 1/2 C of dressing into the potatoes.
Cook bacon in a frying pan until crispy. Crumble bacon and set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix together the whipping cream and the blue cheese. Mix the cheese and cream mixture into the remaining dressing. Spoon over potatoes. Add chopped celery. Top the salad with crumbled bacon and chives.

Go blue and stuff.